return to main index

  mobile - desktop
follow us on facebook follow us on twitter follow us on YouTube link to us on LinkedIn
Zoo Med Repti Heat Cable  
click here for Rodent Pro
Mice, Rats, Rabbits, Chicks, Quail
Available Now at RodentPro.com!
Locate a business by name: click to list your business
search the classifieds. buy an account
events by zip code list an event
Search the forums             Search in:
News & Events: Herp Photo of the Day: Lizard . . . . . . . . . .  Herp Photo of the Day: Frog . . . . . . . . . .  Pittsburgh Mega Reptile Expo - Sept. 24-25,2021 . . . . . . . . . .  Bay Area Herpetological Society Meeting - Sept. 24, 2021 . . . . . . . . . .  East Coast Reptile Super Expo - Sept. 25, 2021 . . . . . . . . . .  All Maryland Reptile Show - Oct. 02, 2021 . . . . . . . . . .  Greater Cincinnati Herp Society Meeting - Oct. 06, 2021 . . . . . . . . . .  Central Illinois Herp Society Meeting - Oct. 07, 2021 . . . . . . . . . .  Calusa Herp Society Meeting - Oct. 07, 2021 . . . . . . . . . .  Madison Herp Society Meeting - Oct. 08, 2021 . . . . . . . . . .  Northern Virginia Reptile Show - Oct. 09, 2021 . . . . . . . . . .  Madison Herp Society Meeting (Milwaukee) - Oct. 13, 2021 . . . . . . . . . . 


full banner - advertise here $.50/1000 views year
click here for The Turtle Source
pool banner - $25 year
Central Plains Milk Snake
Lampropeltis triangulum gentilis

Size:
  • Hatchling: 5 - 8 inches
  • Adult: 16 - 36 inches

Scalation:
  • Dorsal: 17 - 21 rows
  • Ventral: 181 - 208
  • Sub caudal: 40 - 51
  • Infra labial: 8 - 10 (usually 9)
  • Supra labial: 6 - 7 (usually 7)
  • Anal Plate: Single

Photo courtesy Troy Hibbitts
click to enlarge

Coloration:

Head:
The head ranges from solid black, to black with a white flecked snout, to having the snout all white with scattered black flecks. The temporals are also oftern white.

Dorsal:
From 20 to 32 triads of red (or orange), black and white; the average is 26. The white rings are usually from one and a half to four scales wide (usually 2 or 3), the black rings range from one and a half to four scales as well, and the red rings range from zero to five scales wide. Often, the red rings are interrupted middorsally by black pigment.

Hatchlings tend to have white rings which are very bright and uncluttered with black flecking, while in most adults these bands darken considerably, often appearing gray. In some specimens, the white is tinted with yellow or cream. The red, too, varies from individual to individual, as well as between populations. In most specimens, the red is a dull to bright orange in color, in others it can be nearly brown, while still other individuals, it can have a very deep red color. Often the orange is flecked with black pigment, further obscuring the color of the snake.

Several anerythristic (lacking red) specimens have been collected, but have have not been widely bred and are not available commercially.

Ventral:
The ventral surfaces of most gentilis are blotched with black on white. Usually, the white corresponds with the dorsal white rings and the black corresponds with the black and orange triads. However, this pattern can be offset, and occassional individuals have all white or all black venters.

Behavior:
Gentilis can be found from March to October. It is presumably surface active only at night, but very few are collected crossing roads. The vast majority of gentilis collected are found under rocks near their winter hibernacula in the spring. Flat limestone ledges on rocky, prairie hillsides are favored locations for these snakes.

Many gentilis are fairly nervous and jumpy snakes. Many will not settle down in captivity and continually strike and buzz their tails. Some specimens will jerk spasmodically when held, smearing musk and feces about while biting their captors. Other specimens calm down quite nicely.

Breeding:
Gentilis require a 3 month brumation period in order to stimulate breeding, much like other temperate species of kingsnakes. Breeding will usually commences shortly after the animals are warmed up. The male will usually bite the female behind the head while copulating, and copulation can occur for an extended period of time (several hours). A clutch of 2 to 9 eggs will be laid 30-40 days after fertilization. Egg size (and therefore neonate size) depends largely upon the size of the female. Incubation usually takes about 60 days at 82 degrees Farhenheit.

Range:
This subspecies is found from the north Central Texas (Witchita Falls) west to the edge of the High Plains (Lubbock) northwest into Colorado and north through Oklahoma and Kansas. It enters Nebraska south of the Platte River (much of the Nebraska population are intergrades with the Pale Milksnake). Gentilis intergrades with sypsila in east-Central Kansas and (presumably) in central Oklahoma; with celaenops in the Texas Panhandle, and with amaura in south central Oklahoma and north central Texas.

Habitat:
Gentilis is primarily a snake of the open prairie. It is most abundant in areas with limestone rock outcroppings, but can be found in the brittle sandstones of the high plains. It also ranges into the foothill valleys of the Rocky Mountains in the vicinity of Denver and Boulder, Colorado.

Prey:
Most wild gentilis probably eat lizards: Skinks (Eumeces), Fence Lizards (Sceloporus), and racerunners (Cnemidophorus). They also probably feed on mice (Peromyscus) and voles (Microtus), in addition to small snakes (Sonora, Tantilla, Tropidoclonion). In captivity, juveniles can usually be started on scented mice or skinks, and most wild caught adults typically feed readily on pre-killed lab mice (fuzzies or small weanlings).

Literature Cited:

Conant, R. and J.T. Collins. 1991. Reptiles and Amphibians of Eastern/Central North America. Houghton Mifflin, Co., Boston.

Williams, K.L. 1988. Systematics and natural history of the American milk snake (Lampropeltis triangulum), 2nd revised edition. Milwaukee Public Museum.

Riley County, Kansas
Photo by Kirk Setzer
Click to Enlarge

Russell County, Kansas
Photo by Kirk Setzer
Click to Enlarge

Weld County, Colorado
Photo by Kirk Setzer
Click to Enlarge

Photo by High Mountain Reptile
Click to Enlarge
Sponsored Link
Zoo Med Excavator
advertise here
New & Updated Business Listings
Looking for a reptile or amphibian related business? A reptile store, breeder, importer, maunfacturer or supplier? Our business directory lists some of the most popluar herp businesses in the world.
Locate a reptile or amphibian business by name:
New
• Southern Silkworms
• Zeigler Animal Feeds
• Tampa Snakes - Carpet Pytho...
• The Big Cheese Rodent Facto...
• Florida Iguana & Tortoise B...
• Toad Ranch Reptile Enclosur...
• ReptiLinks
• Reptiles at the York Expo
• York County Reptile Show
• Jungle Bob's Reptile World
Updated
• Jungle Bob's Reptile World
• ReptiLinks
• Nature Zone Herp Products
• Animal Specialties
• Tampa Snakes - Carpet Pytho...
• Henry Piorun Reptiles
• Northwest Zoological Supply
• Florida Iguana & Tortoise B...
• The Bean Farm
• LLL Reptile and Supply Oce...
list your business on kingsnake.com

Recent Milk Snake Forum Forum Posts
• Splotched Sinaloan Variety, posted by bslugger551
• Splotched/Bullseye Sinaloans, posted by bslugger551
• Is my milk snake is getting TOO HOT?, posted by darbellah
• New owner looking for advice, posted by Irishfran
• New adoption biting and chewing fingers, posted by ajcur17
• Help*** Our milksnake won’t eat., posted by KieranSnake
• "trouble" with my milk snake, posted by kedjkd
• L. annulata (Mexican Milk) temps, posted by JJJ
• Nice neonate clutch..., posted by DavesterII
• Wanted: Vivid Reptile Line Hondurans, posted by VigorStu
• Hypo Honduran Comparison, posted by bslugger551
• Babies from this year, posted by bslugger551
• Vanishing pattern question, posted by bslugger551
• Putting feelers out for rehoming 2 milks, posted by cshaner15
• Milk Snake in the marylebone, posted by quickessayhelp

Recent Milk Snake Classifieds:
- Adult Tangerine Honduran...
- Pueblan Milk Snake
- Apricot Pueblan Milk Sna...
- 2020 11 Extreme ampamp h...
- Adult Tangerine Honduran...
- 2021 Albino Bicolor Hond...
- 2017 Apricot Pueblan Mil...
- Wanted MilksnakeBabies ...
- 2021 Pueblan Milksnake f...
- 2021 Mexican Milksnake f...
- 2020 Sinaloan Milksnake ...
- 2020 Sinaloan Milksnake ...
- 2021 Mexican Milksnake M...
- WANTED YOUR BABY MILKSNA...
- WANTED MilkSnake BabiesA...

Banner Pool
click here for Healthy Herp
$100.year special flat rate banner! - click for info